Hot seat: Mark Ronson

Brit DJ, producer-turned-frontman and recent Trilogy guest Mark Ronson, 35, tells Kim Taylor Bennett about pants, panic attacks and, erm, circumcision

Interview, Hot seat, The Knowledge

What’s the biggest misconception about you?
I don’t even think the press mean it in a bad way, but I find it insulting that I’m always ‘the most well-connected man in pop’, as if I showed up at the gates of the music industry and was handed a golden Rolodex. The people I work with I know because we work in music and most of my friends are musicians or singers.

Do you still have panic attacks?
No – they were more like anxiety attacks. There was nothing I could do when I was going through them; now I just get super nervous. I had to DJ the other night at Space in Ibiza and I’ve never played on a main floor, but they put me on before Vitalic, this giant French techno producer guy, and I thought whoever was in charge of the line-up hated me! I went on and it was kinda alright, but I think everyone who was with me that night was worried because I was hyperventilating a little bit. I was not in a happy place.

Have you stopped Googling yourself?
No. And I only read the ones that I know are going to be bad, like on the sarcastic sites. It’s self-flagellation, like the guy in The Da Vinci Code.

Has there been a more awkward moment in your life than when David Walliams ripped your pants off on stage last year?
No, definitely not! I’m such a fan of Little Britain [Walliams’ comedy show] that it was so ignorant of me to think that nothing bad was going to happen if I was on stage with that man. I’ve seen them a lot since and we get on absolutely fine – it was just a bad night.

You’ve worked with a lot of your heroes, but producing Duran Duran’s upcoming album and having them play on yours must have been up there with the most surreal moments.
The first day I was like a giddy schoolgirl… and then you get over that, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to do your job as a producer. It’s not me yelling at people in the studio and ordering them around. They came in with about 12 demos that they’d been working on and I just thought it could be better, so the first day on the job I had to tell Duran Duran to scrap their 12 demos – it was not my favourite thing in the world to do! I think the record ranks up there with their best albums, which for me is their first three records.

We firmly believe turtlenecks are the enemy of all men, but in the past you’ve rocked them with some aplomb.
No I haven’t. It’s a bit ‘night at the Playboy mansion’. I think it all got a bit too slick and suave. I can’t imagine rocking one right now, but I don’t think they’re the biggest enemy of all men. I can think of other things, like adult circumcision, that probably rank higher.

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